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NORGARD: Mystic Morning / Like a Child / Ut Rosa

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Per Norgard's choral works form a constant strand through the composers ?â?ªuvre - from the first in 1952 (Sleep, to a text by Halfdan Rasmussen) to the most recent like Ut Rosa, Morning Myth, Mythic Morning and Two Noctures on this CD, composed fifty years later, The choral works - like the symphonies and certain chamber genres - demonstrate the whole spectrum of development in Norgard's music. Norgard made a personal, mature start in the Nordic choral tradition with the dark-sounding choral suite Aftonaland (\Evening Land") (1953, dedicated to Sibelius) to poems by Par Lagerkvist, the Latin Triptychon (1957, for choir and instruments) and the work based on Danish nature poetry Three Th?â?©ger Larsen Songs (1957/61) - rounded off by the strong Beach Poppy. Colours and moods in more recent works often point back to these early choral works.

Norgard's choral music in the 1960s is usually part of experimental dramatic works (including The Judgeinent, Horrors in Progress, Bobel) - only two a cappella works stand out, although they do so in remarkable fashion: the elegantly exotic Landskabsbillede ("Landscape Picture") (1961, text by Thorkild Bj?â?©rnvig) with a new, refined sensibility, and the campfire-song-like Du skal plante et tr?â?ª ("You must plant a new tree") (1967, text by Piet Hem) in tune with the anthems of the day by Donovan etc.

The 1970s saw a feast of a cappella choral works from Norgard, originating in the melodic hothouse of the composer's "infinity series music" between Voyaqe into the Golden Screen (1968) and Siddhorta (1979). The list is long and deserves repetition: Libro (1973, R. Steiner and the Psalms of David), Singe die Garten, mein Herz (1974, R.M. Rilke), Nova Genitura (1975, for soprano, instruments and choir ad lib.), as well as the many related choral works to texts by Ole Sarvig - Frost Psalm (1975-76), Frost Psalm Fragment (1976/2002), Winter Cantata (1976), Winter Hymn (1976/84), Nu d?â?ªkker sne den hele jord ("Now all the earth is white with snow") (1976, for 8 tubas and choir ad lib.), The Year (1976/91), Cycles (1977), Maya Dancing (1979/91) - and to texts by other poets: Spring Song (1980, Rilke) and The Word (1982, Grundtvig).

Norgard's so-called Wolfli period began with the choral work Wie ein Kind 1980), which has quickly become a modern classic. It was followed by a series of equally unique Wolfli choral works, including The Alarming Duckling (1985) and ?é?áD'Monstrontz-Voogeli (for bird-song and human voices!), Two Wolfli Songs: Abendlied and Holleluja, der Herr ist verr?â??ckt (1979/83), as well as the later Grablied und Toottagrab'r-Mazurka (1993), The works Rainy Night (1983/89) and I Hear the Rain (1983/92) were partly based on 'found' sound objects (sea surf heard on an Indian beach); to this period too belong the following major choral works: Afbrudt h?â?©jsang ("Interrupted Canticle"), Skrig- og Drikkevise ("Screaming and Drinking Song") (1983), Three Agnus Deis (1983) and Tre hymniske ansatser ("Three Hymnic Beginnings") (1986).

Around 1977 a new 'Norgard genre' arose for choir and percussion based on the infinity series. These were works like Orpheus and Eurydice - the interrupted song (1977, for choir, instruments, percussion and dancers), Early Spring Dances (1979, same ensemble), and Dream Songs (1981, for choir and percussion), The River and its Two Great Banks (1983, for choir and percussion) and Sl?â?Ñ d?â?©rene op! ("Open up the Doors!") (1981, for choir, percussion and orchestra, to poems by Inger Christensen).

In 1992 the Danish Association of Amateur Choirs honoured Per Norgard as Choral Composer of the Year, and for the occasion he composed Four Latin Motets - for 3 or 5 voices (1992, Psalms of David); and with Korbogen ("The Choir Book") in 1993 (a new, revised collection of 45 choral songs 1952-1992) the simpler choral song genre was continued.

R?â?¬ves en pleine lumi?â?¿re (1989/2002, Paul ?âÔÇ?luard) and And time shall be no more (1993, to poems by Lundquist, Wolfli, Yunus Emre and J?â?©rgen Gustava Brandt) are larger, denser works, a type continued in the large choral works around the turn of the century, which are the main theme of this CD.


Per Norgard (b. 1932 in Copenhagen) is one of the central Danish composers ofthe twentieth century after Carl Nielsen and Jean Sibelius. His output - morethan 300 works - includes opera, symphonies, concertos and ballets as well asfilm, chamber and electronic music.

Norgard's early works continued the Nordic tradition of Carl Nielsen and - especially - Jean Sibelius. Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996), his teacher in his youth, sharpened his interest in organic musical development - 'metamorphosis': 'seeds' of rhythmic and melodic motifs were developed into larger, layered musical polyphony in a mainly modal tonal idiom - as we can hear in the 1950s, for example in the First Symphony. The encounter with the Central European avant-garde around 1960 inspired Norgard to experiment with a wide variety of idioms and genres, including collage composition (The Young Man Must Marry, Tango Chikane etc.), percussion music (Rondo, Waves), electronic music (The Enchanted Forest), happenings (Babel, Horrors in Progress) and at almost psychedelic type of interference music for orchestra (Iris, Luno).

At the same time Norgard worked with his own serial technique, called 'the infinity series' - related to the 'fractal', visual infinity patterns described at the end of the 1970s by the physicist Mandelbrot. The infinity series is a principle of musical motion (within a freely chosen scale) that generates constantly varying melodic patterns. A musically interesting feature is that an infinity series is repeating itself 'fractally' in other tempo layers in a multifarious (in principle endless) polyphony - not unlike the 'prolation canons' of the Renaissance. From the orchestral work Voyage into the Golden Screen (1968) until c. 1980, Norgard developed a personal musical universe on this basis, involving natural harmonics and rhythms based on the Golden Section - in a balanced, harmonious - sounding new music that can be heard for example in his Third Symphony, the operas Gilgamesh and Siddharta, and in many choral works and chamber works like Spell, Whirls, World and Seadrift. "I stand with one foot in western rationalism and the other in eastern mysticism, yet I feel both are alien to me. I am, so to speak, a kind of third point in the picture" as the composer said of his music in that period.

Around 1980 Norgard radically changed course towards a spontaneously composed, dramatic, 'schizoid' style inspired by the Swiss 'mad artist' Adolf Wolfii (1864-l930) in a number
Item number 6220510
Barcode 747313151066
Release date 04/01/2005
Category 20th Century
Label Dacapo Records
Media type HYBRID SACD
Number of units 1
Artists Schou, Jens
Schou, Jens
Composers Norgard, Per
Norgard, Per
Conductors Veto, Tamas
Veto, Tamas
Orchestras Nova, Ars
Nova, Ars
Disc: 1
Morgen-Meditation (Morning Meditation)
1 Morgenmyte (Morning Myth)
2 Flos ut rosa floruit
3 Qui divina gratia
4 Cantemus hymnum gloriae
5 Qui natus est de virgine
6 Wiigen-Lied (Lullaby)
7 Fruhlings-Lied (Spring Song)
8 Trauermarsch mit einem Unglucksfall (Funeral March
9 Sommers sovn (Summer Sleep)
10 Michaelsnat (Michael's Night)
11 Mytisk Morgen (Mystic Morning)
12 Morgen-Meditation (Morning Meditation)
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